comparing the foundational documents of a selected profession to the four synoptic gospels

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Research Paper. The research paper will be 8-10 pages (2000-2500 words). The paper will compare a foundational document from the “selected profession” chosen by the student with the materials presented in the textbook and class regarding that same topic.. Thus, the paper will be a comparison of one reality with another. The paper will demonstrate: (a) the student has grasped information and insights of Rel 214-01, especially the understanding of a “foundational document” and its subsequent interpretation. (b) the student can read and understand new material and (c) the student can compare and contrast what he/she learned in the course with information found outside of the course.

Questions to research about the foundational document of your “selected” profession (find answers in your research of professional sources – journals, web sites, mission statements, history books about the profession, etc):

When was it written?

Compare with the analysis of the four gospels – how do we know when they were written? e.g. subject matter, other events in history, literary forms, etc.

What are the historical events that influenced the foundation of the profession. Cite sources for your description of historical events – industrialization, wars, migration, advances in technology, etc. Compare to historical events that influenced the gospels – e.g. Roman roads, wars, destruction of the Temple in 70 a.d., etc.

What is the cultural context?

Compare with chapters on Greco-Roman background and Jewish background of Jesus.

Compare professional journal findings with textbook analysis.

Cite your sources, put quotation marks around direct quotations.

What is the mainstream interpretation of the foundational document, i.e. what do most people in the field think that it means? Find this in professional journals, not Wikipedia.

What are the reformers’ interpretations of the foundational document?

What sources do the reformers use – language, history, consequences, future expectations? Compare with sources for the gospels.

Which image of Jesus would the founders or reformers be comparable to? – the Jesus is Matthew, Mark, Luke or John?

Compare both founders and reformers with the images of Jesus in the four chapters about Jesus.

How apocalyptic are the founders/reformers? Compare with Chapter 17 of Ehrman.

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